By Dan Arritt, for NBA.com
THE FACTS: Before the start of the Western Conference first-round playoff series between the Lakers and Nuggets, those in the Denver locker room were fretting over a method to counter L.A.’s length. Andrew Bynum showed just how tall the Lakers can stand, tying an NBA playoff record for blocked shots in the 103-88 victory Sunday afternoon at Staples Center.
QUOTABLE: “Monstrous. He was an absolute beast down there.”
— Lakers coach Mike Brown on Bynum
THE STAT: Bynum finished with 10 points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocked shots, tying the previous NBA record held by Mark Eaton of the Jazz and Hakeem Olajuwon of the Rockets. He also broke the franchise record of nine blocks, which was held for 35 years by Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. If that’s not impressive enough, it was also L.A.’s first triple double in a playoff game since another legend, Magic Johnson, produced 16 points, 11 rebounds and 20 assists against the Bulls in Game 5 of the 1991 NBA Finals.
TURNING POINT: Despite shooting 5-for-20 in the opening quarter, the Nuggets hung around until the Lakers scored six straight points to push their lead to 45-34 with 2:40 remaining in the second quarter. They maintained a 10-point edge at the half, and the Nuggets never climbed back within single digits.